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Apple's Language Restrictions

April 10, 2010 11:09:14.400

The more I think about it, the more Apple's new policy for the iPhone/iPad seems like BS. Consider their rationale for limiting you to the C language family (plus Javascript); they claim it's so that their new multi-tasking layer can properly ajudicate things. As one of my colleagues on the Smalltalk IRC channel pointed out:

if you were going to require something for multitasking, it'd be more of the form - Applications must implement the threadsThatNeedToRunInBackgroundIfYouWereToSuspendMeRightNow() callback. Any that do not, will not be able to benefit from multitasking.

So no, it's not about multi-tasking per se. I don't think it's strictly about controlling the development tools, although that is very Apple-like. No, I think that Adobe's product eveangelist, Lee Brimelow, is probably right with his veiled assertions - this is a shot directly at Adobe and Flash.

Had Apple specifically banned Flash, they might have generated some kind of lawsuit. THis policy smacks of "let's ask the lawyers how to kill Flash and get away with it". Here's what I'd like to know: this really doesn't strike me as a business decision. Think about it - why does Apple care what tools you use to create iPhone/iPad apps, if they all promote the device and the store? They already control the retail end, so they can (post hoc, if necessary) yank misbehaving apps.

No, I think this is all about Jobs. He has developed a deep antipathy to Adobe, and this is the latest step in how that's coming out.

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posted by James Robertson

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